In the immediate aftermath of the UFC”s landmark show in New York City, Khabib Nurmagomedov showed less interest in soaking up his impressive victory than cementing his long-awaited title shot. The Dagestani native gave a memorable post-fight speech, several scathing interviews, and even gave the UFC an ultimatum in the process.
Despite Khabib having earned the opportunity to challenge for the title, the newly crowned lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, is expected to take a hiatus ahead of the birth of his first child. This will likely delay his return past May 2017, at which point the two-division champ will have to decide which division he will compete in next.
Assuming McGregor’s hiatus is a lengthy one, Khabib does not plan to sit on the sidelines. According to his father and longtime coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib is ready to face Tony Ferguson to cement his claim once and for all.
"We will not wait longer than 3 months,” Abdulmanap told MMANews.info (h/t Magomed Edilsultanov for accurate translation). “We'll wait for 3 months and at the 4th, we need an opponent. Let them give us any opponent. Even at 77kgs (welterweight).”
When questioned by a reporter whether a fight with Donald Cerrone was an option, Abdulmanap had a different idea in mind:
“At this moment, it is better to fight with Ferguson -- just to nail this thing down.”